I was debating the difference between these two energy-giving qualities with a client this morning.
“Motivation“, he said, “is the energy you need to do something you don’t want to do”.
How interesting. This really made me think, because I do a lot of work in this area, using a blend of training and one-to-one coaching. There always seems to be a question, where the subject is not quite getting the outcomes they or their sponsors seek, of whether the individual “can’t” or “won’t“. The first is about capability, the second about motivation.
Inspiration, on the other hand, literally means “to breath life into“. So, are the two words synonymous when it comes to human behaviour, particularly in a business context?
Well, it seems to me that the key to getting anyone to do anything is to help them understand their WIIFM (what’s in it for me). In other words, it’s all about the “why?” but, critically, their why not yours.
The technique of influencing behaviour would seem to involve persuading your subject through an articulation of why they would benefit from implementing your idea. Without that, who would have the motivation, inspiration or energy to move ahead? It’s easy to see why so many of a leader’s ideas can come to nothing if they are relying upon just their authority in seeking to motivate a member of the team.
On the other hand, if you can overcome this challenge of persuasion, the subject should have all the motivation and inspiration they need. Then the leader needs to simply get out of their way, becoming the enabler, rather than the driver.
The same also applies to parenting of course!